How to get a discount on Heathrow Express (2017 edition)

Last year I wrote an article on the different ways of finding a Heathrow Express discount.  Quite a few things have changed since then, though, so I thought it was worth an update.

‘Secret’ discounts are nearly, but not quite, dead

The important thing to remember is that the generous discounts that many airlines used to offer for buying Heathrow Express tickets via their websites are gone.  You could often save up to 14% this way.

The only offer I know of is in association with MasterCard.

The link for your discounted Heathrow Express ticket is here.

Here are the prices available via this link, with the normal prices in brackets:

Standard Class: 

Single £19.36 (£22), Return £32.56 (£37)

First Class:

Single £28.16 (£32), Return £48.40 (£55)

Still not a bargain, of course, but certainly cheaper than it was!

Heathrow Express

Remember that children now travel FREE

Children under 15 now travel for free on Heathrow Express.

This makes a substantial difference to the maths when you compare the train to a taxi.  As a family of four, we have increased our use of the Heathrow Express since this policy was launched, mainly when travelling at peak times on a Friday when I didn’t want to trust the M4.

Make SERIOUS savings by booking in advance

A range of Advanced Purchase tickets was launched a couple of years ago.  If you can plan ahead – a long way ahead – you can make big savings.

With 15 different Advanced Purchase ticket options, the range is baffling to put it mildly.  You can see the full list of prices here.

The bottom line is that tickets can be as cheap as £5.50 one way on a weekend or Bank Holiday.  Combine that with the fact that children under 15 are free, and a family of four could get to Heathrow for as little as £11.

Discounts for two or more people travelling

Heathrow Express has a special offer for 2 people travelling together – £55.50 return in Standard Class.  Full details are here.  You need to use promotion code DUOSAVER when you book.

If you are travelling in a group of three or more adults, see a deal for that here which saves 33% using Heathrow Express discount code 3RDOFF.

August Off-Peak offer

Throughout August 2017 Heathrow Express is running an off-peak promotion.

During off-peak times, which includes weekends and bank holidays, a single fare costs £15.  A return ticket costs £25. Peak-times are Monday – Friday 7am – 10am and 4pm – 7pm.

Tickets can be booked online, via the app or bought on the day at the station.

Heathrow Express

Earn Avios points or Heathrow Rewards points when you book

You are able to collect Heathrow Rewards points on Heathrow Express tickets booked online.   This works on both the main website and the HEx app.

You earn 1 Heathrow Rewards point per £1 spent. They can be redeemed 1:1 for Avios airmiles, Virgin Flying Club miles, Etihad miles, Emirates miles, Miles & More miles, Heathrow shopping vouchers and various other bits and pieces.

You can also collect Avios points with your Heathrow Express tickets.  This is a far more generous offer than the Heathrow Rewards one because you earn 10 Avios points per £1 spent (see ba.com here).

You need to visit www.heathrowexpress.com/ba or www.heathrowexpress.com/avios to book.  These sites do not allow you to mix a promotional code with your booking, nor can you book Advanced Purchase tickets.  You also do not earn Heathrow Rewards points via these links.

Using a railcard on Heathrow Express

Don’t forget that if you have a railcard (National Railcard, 16-25 Railcard, TFL Annual Gold Card, Senior Railcard etc) then you can also get a discount – my Mum gets 34% off with her Senior Railcard.

In a recent change, you can now use railcards online for full fare tickets.  You cannot use them to buy in the train.

Big discounts if you work for an airline

You save 75% on full-fare Express Saver and Business First tickets if you work at Heathrow – see here.  However, this discount also applies to employees of airlines that operate out of Heathrow who have a valid airline photo ID card.

This means that if, for example, you work for British Airways at Gatwick, you are still entitled to 75% off your Heathrow Express ticket.  An easyJet employee would not as easyJet does not fly from Heathrow.

A free upgrade if you are Star Alliance Gold

From February 2016, you have been able to upgrade your standard class ticket to First Class if you had a Star Alliance Gold card from any of their member airlines.  Simply sit in the First Class carriage and show your Gold card to the conductor.

The website for the offer is here.  Note that whilst the website says that you needed to have a ‘full fare’ Heathrow Express ticket, this was never imposed.

Still a free upgrade for British Airways Gold Guest List?

The least known benefit of being a British Airways Gold Guest List member was a free First Class upgrade on Heathrow Express.  In theory this offer ended on 30th June 2017 as you can see here.  Anecdotally, it seems that the upgrade still works.

Simply sit in First Class and show your Gold Guest List card (not, for clarity, a standard BA Gold card) and your standard class ticket to the conductor.

Don’t forget Heathrow Connect

If you don’t want to take the HEx at all, the slower Heathrow Connect from Paddington is also an option. If you are flying from Terminal 1-3, it is a direct service. You need to change trains for Terminals 4 and 5, which means – if you are going to T5 – it is more hassle than the HEx. However, at £20.70 for a return ticket as opposed to £37 on the Heathrow Express, you may find it worth it.

If you have a London travelcard, for up to Zones 1 to 6, you get a further discount as the price will be based on the fare from the edge of your travelcard zones, not to or from Paddington.

And, of course, there is the tube and indeed bus options. Both are cheaper, but the tube does lack the comfort and space of the trains – the Heathrow Express is, in my view, the ‘poshest’ train service in the country. In many ways, it depends where you are starting from as to whether going via Paddington is convenient.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. The Heathrow Connect actually goes to T5 in the week and T4 on a Sunday and I thought I had read that it was advertised as such now – though a quick check on National Rail seems to suggest it runs out of service there – anyone got experience of what happens on the ground?

    • You can check on brtimes.com or realtimetrains.com

      If there are delays then anything can happen to get things back into position like turning round at Heathrow 23 or sending the wrong trains to 4/5.

    • The last few times I got it it always went to T5, but would only announce this on the train, not on the signs in Paddington etc.

    • It does – T5 Mon-Sat and T4 on Sundays. Occasionally trains are sent to T4 instead as they run on a shoestring (so any staff absence means the T4 shuttle is removed and the Connect used to cover) but this is significantly rarer than it used to be. It isn’t announced on station boards, just onboard, but it’s fair to rely on it now.

  2. The star gold upgrade from standard to first was still in place last week.

  3. I have continued to use the Star Alliance Gold upgrade without problems, most recently at the beginning of August this year

  4. There are constantly Heathrow Express offers showing on my Nationwide and HSBC rewards pages – normally around 10%, should stack with most others.

  5. Note that the Advance tickets only need to specify the day, not a specific train.

  6. Rob your avios earning rates are out of date now – they have pivoted to a 10 avios per £ model for both Avios and BAEC so a standard return at £37 yields 370 avios through the same links you shared. Not bad as in essence the return has nearly doubled.

    • Ah OK, thank you. Will update.

      • It says on the BA page about parking and transfer partners that ‘Avios are not awarded for credit card bookings, delivery or amendment fees.’
        Does that mean you will not receive the bonus Avios if you use a credit card to pay, or do could it be a typo and they meant that you will not receive the Avios on the credit card fees?

  7. The BA GGL upgrade from ordinary to first definitely still works See post no 35 and subsequent in this FT thread:-

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1846624-free-hex-upgrade-ggl.html

    where I checked with BA and HEX and there is a public twitter exchange confirming that despite the website it still works.

  8. Nick OCallaghan says:

    I showed my AIR NZ Star GOLD card when sat in the first class coach and this was accepted with my online company discounted HEX ticket. Looks like this offer still works!